Raising Finance

Northern pub restaurant group guzzled in £50m deal with ex-Wagamama owner

3 min read

09 June 2016

Former deputy editor

Cheshire-headquartered pub restaurant group New World Trading Company (NWTC) has been taken over in a a £50m deal with mid-market private equity firm Graphite Capital.

The first pub was opened just five years ago in 2011, but now boasts 14 pub restaurants in operation. Locations served include Knutsford (where the head office can be found), Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Glasgow, London and more.

NWTC operates under five core brands, including The Botanist, The Oast House, Smugglers Cove, The Trading House and The Club House. Each venue has a focus on variety with cask and craft beers, cocktails, homemade food and live music.

The fast-growing food and drink operation opened seven sites over the past 15 months and four additional venues are planned for the next year, which will mean building on the existing 900 staff members.

Chris Hill, chief executive, NWTC, said: “We are delighted to be working with Graphite. Their partnership approach was attractive to us and their experience in supporting roll-outs in the pub and restaurant sector will be invaluable in the coming years.

“They share our vision for the future of the business and our enthusiasm for pushing out the traditional boundaries of the pub industry.”

Hill and the NWTC senior team reinvested a “significant proportion” of the £50m from Graphite and will stay at the forefront of the business, remaining on board to run it.

Prior to Graphite’s bid, Living Ventures, a brand and restaurant group that develops early stage companies, was the principal operator of NWTC alongside minority stakeholders Hill Capital and LDC.

Read more about the restaurant sector:

Graphite’s rather notable accomplishment in the restaurant sector is its investment in noodle chain Wagamama, which it backed in 1996 when there were just two restaurants. Under Graphite ownership, Wagamama grew to 70 restaurants in the UK and 36 abroad, while increasing turnover from £2.5m to over £110m and taking operating profit from £400,000 to £20m.

Omar Kayat, partner at Graphite Capital, said: “NWTC has rapidly established itself as one of the most innovative and respected pub and restaurant operators in the market.

“The company’s multi-branded approach to all day-dining combined with live entertainment in the evening has been hugely successful nationwide. We look forward to helping Chris and his team in their continued expansion across the UK.”

A series of restaurants across the UK are now making charity donations on behalf of diners via new app.